The Electricity Bill 2022 was approved by the Senate, which also demanded increased investment in and reform of the Nigerian electricity supply sector (NESI).
Following consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Power in plenary, the Bill was passed.
The bill seeks to provide an ideal legal and institutional framework to capitalize on the modest gains of the privatization phase of the electricity power sector in Nigeria, among others, according to the chairman of the committee, Senator Gabriel Suswam (Benue North East), in his presentation.
When the Bill is signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, he claims it will increase the use of generated power by increasing investments in new technologies to improve transmission and distribution of generated power in order to reduce overall value chain losses.
The proposed legislation, according to him, would “reinvigorate the institutional framework for the reform of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) initiated and implemented by the Federal Government.”
He added that the Bill aims to advance policies and regulatory measures that would guarantee the expansion of power transmission networks in Nigeria in order to address any imbalances in the country’s current transmission infrastructure.
Suswam noted that if passed into law, the bill would encourage regulatory and policy actions to expand the sector’s capacity for efficient power generation, transmission, and distribution. It would also address technological constraints and out-of-date infrastructure that are to blame for value chain losses.
Ahmad Lawan, the president of the Senate, was interested in the function and operational capability of the banks that had acquired the discos that were owed money to them.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Bureau of Public Enterprise were properly involved in the takeover of entities (Discos) by banks, according to Suswam (BPE).
He claimed that in order to ensure effective service delivery, a transitional process was put in place when the United Bank for Africa (UBA) took control of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).
He pointed out that such transitional processes frequently entailed inviting new investors to expand generation and distribution capabilities.
He also revealed that Siemens had received $100 million from the Federal Government in order to jumpstart transmission at the power sector’s distribution end.
DisCos’ failure to live up to expectations, according to Senator Ahmad Babba-Kaita (Katsina North), can be attributed in large part to the flawed way in which they were established.
He urged the federal government to ensure a transparent selection process for the businesses that would take over nationwide power generation and distribution.
The bill’s aspect of renewable energy, according to Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North), deputy chief whip, was given prominence among the other energy sources.
Following a clause-by-clause review by the Committee of the Whole, the upper chamber approved the Electricity Bill, 2022.
After the bill was passed, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, made the following statement: “Due to its importance and sensitivity, we would like to see a swift concurrence by the House of Representatives, as time is of the essence when talking about electricity and energy supplies in Nigeria.
Therefore, we would like to see this Bill go through the National Assembly in its entirety before being sent to the Executive branch of government for Mr. President’s approval.
“We think that this piece of legislation has the potential to improve the fortunes of the Nigerian electricity industry.”